But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua testified of the faithfulness of God to the Israelites. He recounted the goodness of the Lord as He faithfully brought them out of Egypt and led them into the Promised Land. God was also faithful to defeat all of their enemies. Joshua had followed the Lord all the days of his life and his testimony was sincere. In other words, his “walk” matched his “talk.”
He had chosen to faithfully serve God, and as his days were numbered, he reminded the Israelites that they had a choice – to serve God or to serve the gods of the Amorites.
The Christmas season is full of choices. We are reminded that this is the season that we celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you read this, are you filled with the delight of His birth, or are you caught up in the frantic secular activities that have invaded this holy season? I find myself in a war zone during this time of year – the war between following the world’s ways and the ways of Christ. I am caught up in the tide that sweeps me out into the sea of spending, of people pleasing, and stress.
The Scripture reading for today reminds us that we have a choice to serve God or the god of Mammon. Jesus has given us this same admonition:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24) As I write, I am keenly aware of how I easily fall prey into doing things during this time of year that draw me away from Christ rather than toward Him. Reading the word of Joshua, I am reminded that I have a choice to draw near to Christ or to get caught up in the frenzy of the secular idea of Christmas. Will you choose with me to remember the real reason for the season?
Help me to remember the reason for this holy season – the birth of Your Son Jesus Christ. Help me avoid getting caught up in the tide of busyness that threatens to draw me away from God.
In Jesus’ name, Amen